Coat of Many Colors is the eighth solo studio album by Dolly Parton, released in 1971 by RCA Nashville. The title song, which Parton has described as her favourite of all the songs she's ever written, deals with the poverty of her childhood. It reached #4 on the U.S. country singles charts.
Over the years, Parton would re-record a number of the songs from the album. She redid "Traveling Man" (not to be confused with the Ricky Nelson song of the same name), a song that involved an unusual love triangle between a travelling salesman, a woman, and her mother, for inclusion on her 1973 album Bubbling Over. She would also re-record her composition "My Blue Tears", an "old-timey" folk-influenced song, with Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt in the mid-1970s, for an ill-fated Trio album project. (The recording would eventually surface on Ronstadt's 1982 album Get Closer). Parton cut the song for a third time in 2001, including it on her Little Sparrow album. "Early Morning Breeze" later appeared on her 1974 Jolene album.
"A Better Place to Live" was a song very much of its time, dealing with living in a utopian, peaceful world where people love one another, and was very much in the same vein as Jackie DeShannon's recent hit "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" (which Parton herself would later cover in 1993).
In 2001, the album was released on CD in 2001 as Joshua & Coat Of Many Colors, attached to Joshua on one disc.